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Home > News > Report

Mulayam's hopes lie with 'secular' parties

Tara Shankar Sahay in New Delhi | August 26, 2003 18:01 IST

Samajwadi Party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav hopes to form government in Uttar Pradesh with the help of the Congress, the Rashtriya Janata Dal, Rashtriya Kranti Party, independents and legislators from other parties.

During a chat with reporters in Delhi last week, Singh had said should an opportunity arise to form government in UP with the help of 'secular parties', he would definitely take the initiative.

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He said this after the SP voted in favour of the no-confidence motion moved by Congress chief Sonia Gandhi against the Vajpayee government.

During the chat, he gave the impression that since he had supported the motion, the Congress would help him when needed.

But the Congress was playing it safe.

"We will cross the bridge when we come to it," was the brief comment by Congress spokesperson S Jaipal Reddy when asked if his party would help Yadav in UP.

Many in the Congress feel aligning with the Mayawati-led Bahujan Samaj Party will be more beneficial.

This is because the Congress and the BSP can then help each other in Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Delhi and other states.

The Congress knows that the SP has very little clout outside UP. Therefore, the Congress will align with Yadav only if there is no other option.

Significantly, Yadav has said in recent months that he is not averse to Gandhi becoming prime minister should she be in a position to form government at the Centre.

However, there is still distrust between the Congress and the SP.

Congress activists told they have information that Yadav is imploring Deputy Prime Minister Lal Kishenchand Advani and the Rajnath Singh faction of the UP Bharatiya Janata Party that they should support him.

Yadav's rationale is that after being ditched by the BSP, the BJP is keen to get even with Mayawati and will support him now.

The UP assembly has a strength of 404 out of which the SP has 142 legislators, the BSP 111, BJP 87, Rahstriya Lok Dal 14, the RKP 4 and independents 17.

Singh will have to muster the magic figure of 202 for a simple majority and even with the support of the Congress, the RLD, the RKP and other 'secular' parties and independents, he falls short.

For him the only alternative, it seems, is to woo legislators from other parties.

BJP leaders, including party chief M Venkaiah Naidu, on Tuesday said the party would not take the initiative to form government since Mayawati had committed a breach of trust by not taking the BJP into confidence on 'killing' her government.

With the ball now in Governor Vishnukant Shastri's court, Yadav will now have to wait and watch.

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